The demand for Health Care Aides and Health Care providers is strong throughout Canada due to aging and population growth. Health Care Aides provide important assistance to a wide variety of patients including the elderly, injured or disabled persons who require support and care. Health Care Aides work in hospitals, supportive care facilities, and assisted living housing facilities.
Health Care Aides (HCA) provide basic health services and support with daily living activities for clients who have medical conditions or major functional limitations. HCAs work under the direct or indirect supervision of a regulated health professional, such as a nurse, in a variety of settings including:
- Home Care
- Assisting Living Facilities
- Long-Term Care
The Government of Alberta HCA Provincial Curriculum – 2019 is owned and managed by the Ministry of Health. Robertson College has entered into a license agreement with the Ministry of Health to use the Curriculum.
If you are an experienced Health Care professional or foreign-trained nurse who is interested in seeking certification, you may qualify for our Health Care Aide Challenge program.
Topics of Study
Health Care Aide Role & Responsibility - 45 hours
During this course, you will focus on the role and responsibilities of a health care aide working in a variety of employment settings. The focus of this course is to share information that will result in safe, ethical, and respectful care based on the needs of the client. Care that meets these standards is known as person-centred care.
To meet the goal of person-centred care, the health care aide must be familiar with the provincial legislation that guides safe, ethical, and personalized care. In addition, knowledge of how to work as part of the health-care team is essential, as is the ability to follow your employer’s policy and procedures and your job description.
The HCA is responsible for identifying, managing, and preventing potential environmental hazards in facilities and community-based settings and focusing on the client’s safety as well as your own safety in different settings.
The Human Body, Health & Chronic Illness - 45 hours
This course focuses on the study of the systems that make up the human body and discusses the milestones of growth and development across the lifespan. It is an introduction to foundational knowledge of the most common of the chronic illnesses that a health care aide may encounter. The learner will describe ways to provide safe care based on evidence-informed practices according to the clients’ diagnoses, needs, and care plans. The information learned in this course will provide you with care strategies to support the client, the client’s family, and yourself through the process of a client’s dying and death.
Communication & Documentation in the Healthcare Environment - 60 hours
This course will focus on the role and responsibilities of the health care aide when communicating effectively as a member of the collaborative care team. Strong communication skills are an important part of being a successful health care aide. The health-care environment requires competent verbal, written, and electronic communication skills, which are part of digital literacy.
This course will focus on professional communication with other team members, clients, and client’s families; written communication, including documentation in client records and report completion; problem-solving strategies; and handling conflict successfully. A focus on communicating effectively with clients from all cultures while demonstrating cultural competence and understanding the diversity of individuals will be included. Communication strategies for overcoming the challenges and barriers to communication between the client and caregiver caused by disease, illness, and aging in the client will also be discussed.
Providing Person-Centred Care & Comfort - 75 hours
During this course, you will learn the basic care skills that will allow you to give safe and efficient care to your clients. Providing personal grooming and hygiene care to your clients is an intimate and highly personal experience. During the theory and lab elements of this course, you will learn to approach this care in a professional and compassionate manner. Safe lifting and transferring techniques are important for client and staff comfort and safety. Opportunities to practise safe lifting, transferring, and client positioning will be provided for in both lab and practicum settings.
Health Care Aide Clinical Placement I -160 hours
During this clinical placement, you will experience the role of the health care aide by working under the direction of a regulated health-care professional. You will have the opportunity to work in a continuing care setting such as home care, supportive living (designated supportive living or DSL), senior lodges, long term care, and group homes.
Meeting Complex Care Needs - 75 hours
This course builds on the foundational skills and concepts introduced in previous courses and also introduces new skills such as medication assistance. Learners will have the opportunity to acquire the knowledge to learn advanced skills such as active and passive range-of-motion exercises, ostomy care, respiratory care, catheter care, and tube feeds. In addition, accurate measurement of vital signs is demonstrated, practised, and assessed. This course will also assist learners to work safely within the legal roles and responsibilities of health care aides in this province while giving medication assistance, helping learners to demonstrate competence and confidence. This course is included in the HCA Preparation for Employment provincial standard.
Special Activities for Clients with Various Health Conditions - 75 hours
This course discusses care strategies for assisting diverse client groups such as clients with a mental health diagnosis and clients with developmental delays and physical disabilities. Graduates who become employed in-home care situations may have the opportunity to work with families to provide care for infants and children, as well as caring for clients living with life-limiting illness, and who could benefit from hospice, palliative, and end-of-life care. Information and skills to assist with these care assignments are provided in this course.
Health Care Aide Clinical Placement II - 80 hours
During the second clinical placement, you will experience the role of the health care aide by working under the direction of a regulated health-care professional. You will have the opportunity to work in a variety of health-care settings such as continuing care or acute care.
Consolidated Clinical Placement Experience - 80 hours
This is the final clinical placement course where you will practise the role of the health care aide by working under the direction of a regulated health-care professional and buddied with an unregulated health-care professional. You will work in a variety of health-care settings such as continuing care or acute care.
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